They cancelled the Tour de Florence today.
It was the smart thing to do. Although forecasts for Ike keep sending it a little farther east, we’ll still get lashing rains and winds of tropical storm force (>39 mph). They plan to reschedule the Tour for October. I might be able to use it as my long ride warmup before the century.
So, since I’ll be sitting indoors all day Saturday watching college football, I got in an 18-mile ride this afternoon. The hurricane is already sending some pretty good wind in our direction, and riding into the north and northeast was a chore.
I had a nice chat with another rider who caught up to me. He was riding an old bike from the ’70s or ’80s, a British Thunderbird, he said. But he had taken it down to bare metal, repainted it and rebuilt it. The paint job was eye-catching: blue top tube and down tube, fading into red for the head tube and seat tube. He had replaced the down tube shifters with brifters, put on new wheels and better brakes. It looked like a nice ride, and he could really shoot ahead if he put his mind to it.
Today’s ride was a treat I’d promised myself as a reward for getting my annual physical, which I did today. Had a bit of a scare in the doctor’s office. He was looking over the EKG printout, and said, “Don’t put your shirt on just yet — I don’t like the look of this EKG.” Huh? He examined it another minute, and said, “Oh. I see what happened. She [the physician’s assistant who did the EKG] mixed up the leads. Where you’re supposed to spike up, it shows a spike down.”
I got hooked up to the machine again, he double checked the connections, and this time it turned out fine. “With all that biking you’re doing now, your heart should be in better shape, not worse,” he said. “That’s what got me concerned.”
“So I’m gonna make it?” I asked.
“You’ll make it out the door, anyway,” he replied.
Other encouraging news: An uptick in my cholesterol in my semi-annual check in March may have been a machine error. He’s trashed the gizmos that read blood drawn by a finger stick — the gizmos that give you your cholesterol figures immediately. Turned out his machines, at least, were inaccurate by as much as 20 percent. If the figures from today’s blood drawing are as expected, I’ll cut back my cholesterol medicine to once every other day.
The doc may also have pointed me in the direction of a solution for my numb toe problem. I’ll have to update that in a future post.
Ike is supposed to barrel through Texas quickly. We might be able to get out and ride as soon as Sunday. If college football bores me, I can always clean my chain.